10 More Thoughts about Today’s Preaching

Yesterday, I posted some thoughts about today’s preaching. Here are some additional reflections:

  1. Preaching ought to humble—even frighten—us. Here’s why:Ten Reasons Preaching Scares Me.”
  2. People longing to hear the Word often have a tough time finding good expositors. I hear this reaction often from folks who are seeking a new church home. It’s not surprising some folks find their most significant preaching online.
  3. The sermon should be the tip of the study iceberg, not the whole iceberg. The whole iceberg is a commentary, not a sermon. In encourage you to write a book if you need to give it all at once.
  4. Illustrations are great – and necessary, in my opinion – but they can get you in trouble. Claiming somebody else’s illustration is plagiarism. Talking too much about yourself is pride. Even obliquely telling the story of a church member might be betraying a confidence. Be careful.
  5. The biblical text is always relevant, but our illustrations aren’t always. Overseas, I heard a preacher talk about ice and cars to hearers who had never had either. We can mess up relevance, though, just as much in our own cultural setting.
  6. Much preaching misses the big story of the Bible. If you haven’t located your sermon within the story of Genesis to Revelation, it’s possible you’re not yet best understanding or teaching the text.
  7. Some preachers impress with their personality; others impress with their knowledge. Both are off target. Both are sinful, actually.
  8. Few preachers are good enough to cover up hypocrisy for very long. Somewhere, fake living will become evident if the preacher speaks often enough.
  9. Preaching teams that evaluate weekly sermons are growing in number. The best preachers I know today meet with a team of reviewers each week. That’s brave. And wise.
  10. The Internet makes preaching even more difficult. Check out this post to find out why that’s the case.

What would you add to this list? If you’re interested in ourNext Level Preachingcoaching, be sure to check it out! Spaces are limited.



  • Robin G Jordan says:

    In my comment in response to yesterday’s article I made the observation that a number of websites promote courses or other services for the improving the sermons and sermon delivery of preachers. In the United States it appears to be the practice to offer these services for a fee, limiting their use to pastors and lay preachers who have a budget that includes money for their ongoing development or who have discretionary income that enables them to avail themselves of these services. The only websites that I have come across offering these services free of charge were in the United Kingdom. If preaching is so important to the advance of the gospel, I would have thought that there would have been a greater effort to make these services more widely available to pastors and lay preachers, including those who have a shoestring or non-existent budget. After all, aren’t they also servants of God’s kingdom? My comment was not posted for unknown reasons and I do not expect this comment to be posted for the same reasons but I believe that it is an issue that needs to be addressed. I realize that money is needed to fund these services but too often it appears that the primary motivation for offering these services is to make money, not really to improve the preacher’s sermons and sermon delivery and to advance the gospel. Only a select few, those with financial resources to avail themselves of the services benefit from them while those who lack such resources which often is due to no fault of their own, must muddle along the best that they can. To me that does not seem right.

    • Chuck Lawless says:

      Hi, John. Thanks for your thoughts. Our system shows no record of you submitting a response to yesterday’s post. I assure you I would not have ignored it or chosen not to post it had I seen it. I do understand your point about the dollars, but I’ve also learned over the years that few folks take serious advantage of that which costs them nothing. Thanks again.

  • Robin Jordan says:

    I did post a comment yesterday and included my website as well as my email and mail. Today’s comment I just gave my email address and name. I have sometime found that when I post my website, my comment is not posted. But I have also had that happen when I have just given my email address and name. The problem may be Akismet’s algorithms which may confuse comments with spam. I generally don’t post comments unless I think that they are relevant. My own experience does not match with your own. There are a lot of resources that I would love to take advantage but I am not able to do so because they come with a price tag. I am acquainted with other people whose circumstances are similar to my own, particularly outside of the United States, and who would take advantage of series of training modules on preaching and related subjects if they were available to them at minimal or no cost. With some notable exceptions, I have found most of the free stuff to be teasers, advertising or promotional devices that are intended to arouse interest or curiosity in a course or other service but which contain nothing of substance. Their primary purpose is to market a course or other service. My comment was not intended as a criticism but an observation of what I see may be the influence of our consumer culture on the way the church does thing. As the apostle Paul points out, he could have charged for his teaching but he chose to make sails so he would not be a burden to those to who he was teaching.

  • Chuck Lawless says:

    No problem. I didn’t take it as a negative criticism but as an honest reflection. Thanks again.

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